Why Care About Care? Our Economy Depends on It

​​Misunderstood, Underfunded and Undervalued

Millions of Americans rely on caregivers to look after their children and aging parents. The demand for care is rising and often out of reach, forcing individuals to look within and provide the necessary care themselves to their loved ones. When you combine the 53 million unpaid caregivers with the nearly 5.7 million people working in the care sector — primarily women of color earning low wages and devoid of benefits and protections — and the people who benefit from that care, this issue impacts everyone.

The care economy — historically undervalued and underfunded– is an intersectional and intergenerational issue encompassing childcare, early childhood education, home-based care for older adults and people with disabilities as well as the caregivers who provide the associated services. COVID-19 put a spotlight on the critical need to build an infrastructure with policies in place that will appropriately address care on multiple fronts for care workers who provide the services we all need.

AFN and EOF have released a new brief, webinar and video designed to deepen funder’s understanding of the intersectional/intergenerational issues related to the care economy and lift up key public policies while providing innovative strategies and opportunities for greater funder collaboration to build an equitable care infrastructure.

Read the Brief
Watch the Funder Webinar

This brief lays out how care impacts economic recovery, family economic security and asset building, equity and justice, and the well-being of children, older adults, and people with disabilities. It highlights key polices needed and ways philanthropy can work to build the healthy care economy America needs.

Download your free copy.

Building a robust care infrastructure is both a massive challenge and exciting opportunity for philanthropy to rise up and meet. Hear from the report author and funder colleagues on the vision and strategy to get us there. 


Watch the webinar.

Watch the Video


Related Resources
  • Closing theWomen’s Wealth Gap: Closing the Women’s Wealth Gap (CWWG) is a multi-racial/ethnic network of non-profit, philanthropic, public and private sector leaders working to transform public policies and systems to advance gender economic equity and close the gender wealth gap. We galvanize economic policy solutions that center the dignity and economic security of women of color so that everyone benefits.
  • The CARE Fund: The Care for All with Respect and Equity Fund (CARE) Fund will invest $50 million over five years in movement building for a universal publicly supported care infrastructure that will fuel the economy, improve outcomes for kids, promote equity and enable people with disabilities and older adults to live independently with safety and dignity. The diverse and growing table of committed and pledged partners includes the Ford Foundation, W.K. Kellogg Foundation, Schusterman Family Philanthropies, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Heising-Simons Foundation, Perigee Fund, Pivotal Ventures, Open Society Foundations. For more information, email funders@carefund.org.
  • Family Caregiving Training | Diverse Elders Coalition: This resource hub offers trainings for organizations, colleagues, and community to address caregiving challenges faced by communities of color, LGBT communities and American Indian and Alaska Native communities.
  • It’s Time to Care: The Economic Case for Investing in a Care Infrastructure (Times Up): In this issue brief, the authors make the case that a major public investment in the care sector is urgently needed to bolster our economic health. 
  • Care Can’t Wait: In the Summer of 2020, Caring Across Generations organized a national table of leading organizations and experts to address the lack of a comprehensive care infrastructure, including childcare, paid family and medical leave, and long-term services and supports. Together we produced a paper outlining the care solutions that families of all kinds would need, specifically noting how BIPOC, disabled and immigrant women’s experiences must be central to our economic recovery from the pandemic and beyond. In March 2021, we officially launched Care Can’t Wait to make this care infrastructure proposal a reality.
The brief, video and webinar were generously sponsored by: